August 1999 News

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Nexus established between Assam and Kashmir ultras

10 August 1999
Daily Excelsior
From: B L Kak

NEW DELHI: Dozens of hard core militants, besides five prominent secessionist leaders and three media persons, in Jammu and Kashmir are said to be possessing important imported‘spy-devices’ - coded wristwatches. A sensational disclosure, in this connection, has been made by a ‘pro-Government’ militant leader during his unpublished interaction in Delhi with a higher-up of the Government of India.

The‘pro-Government’ militant leader has confessed that he, too, had received as a ‘valuable gift’one coded wristwatch from one Pakistani ISI(Inter-Services Intelligence) functionary in 1994-95,prior to his decision to quit the dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen and to subsequently render his assistance to the Indian security forces, particularly in southern Kashmir, during their operations against Pakistan-aided ultras.

Hard core militants, possessing coded wristwatches, belong to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba,Peoples League, Jamaat-i-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), according to reports furnished to the Union Home Ministry. These reports, interestingly, have made a specific mention of the daughter of a prominent leader of the All Party Hurriyat Conference(APHC), who also has a coded wristwatch.

Coded wristwatches, it is officially pointed out, are also possessed by various politicians, businessmen, industrialists and property dealers in different parts of India, including the mega cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Banglore. But the purpose of ultras possessing such watches is different altogether. In fact, according to the ‘pro-Government’ militant leader, anti-Delhi elements, who are in the possession of the coded wristwatches, have to make a specific use of them, namely, to keep alive anti-Delhi lobby in Jammu and Kashmir.

The coded wristwatches are meant to be loaded with "important" data such as names and addresses oft he men in motion or to be set in motion against Indian authorities. A highly-placed source told EXCELSIOR that a coded wristwatch recently led to the arrest of three ISI operatives in Surankot sector of Jammu region. The achievement in Assam on the other hand, was however much more significant than the Surankot development, the source said, divulging that a seized coded wristwatch led to the arrest of more than 20 agents of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in Assam. At least three of the captured agents had confirmed the existence of a nexus between a group of ultras in J&K and ISI-funded elements in parts of Assam.

The source pointed out that men of two intelligence agencies had just been instructed officially to keep an eye on those in the two States who are alleged to be in the possession of coded wristwatches and electronic diaries. In Jammu and Kashmir, for instance, reports, now available with the Home Ministry, talk of the "subtle" link at least three local media persons have already established with a group of "defiant, determined anti-India devils, with each media person in the possession of the coded wristwatches. These reports have identified these scribes as well as the Kashmiri secessionist leaders whose imported gadgets contain names and addresses of"important anti-India devils".

After the Home Minister, Mr LK Advani, was given a detailed account of how Pakistan-aided ultras in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir had developed a working relationship for continuing terrorist offensives in the two sensitive States, he ordered early measures for beefing up security in the two States, for organising multi-pronged attacks on the "operatives of the enemy, for strong administrative and legal action against all those who helped certain categories of the ultras in converting dollars into rupees, and for a drive to prevent certain publications and periodicals in the two States from deriving "substantial" pecuniary advantages by publicizing the activities of militant and fundamentalist organisations.

Instructions have also been issued to nab the "best" of ISI spy handlers not only in Jammu and Kashmir and Assam but also in other parts of the country, including Delhi, UP,Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and West Bengal. In fact, the Government has favoured effective measures to get hold of two of these operatives, namely, Hafiz Mohammed Akram of Kupwara district (Kashmir) and Salim Ahmed of Muzaffarnagar (UP).

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